6. November 2018
Reading time: 3 minutes
The refrigerator orders milk and fresh veggies, the cooktop turns on acoustically, the oven can be app-operated from anywhere – smart kitchens have been in the fast lane for some time now. The reason for this swift trip to the front is the IoT. Our devices use this to communicate with one another. And it brings our vision, the FUSICS Table, ever closer to reality.
So what is the IoT? Who can use it? What is it used for? And where does it lead us in the future? Questions upon questions – and we have a few answers.
What is the Internet of Things?
Common objects are equipped with a microchip and are thereby linked via the Internet to other smart objects. What makes it special is that the objects are coordinated and communicate without human intervention. The IoT ensures the architecture and infrastructure of the device network. To some this may seem a bit spooky, while for others it heralds an exciting new era.
Who and what can use the IoT and what for?
Whether in the private or business sphere, or even in entire cities, the Internet of Things is expanding and connecting everything to one another. Everyone can benefit from it. Specifically, this means that the fridge, for example, says which groceries need restocking or whether the milk has expired.
In winter, heating installations automatically activate before users have even set foot in the home, which is then already toasty warm.
It also gets interesting for companies and their processes. Technical equipment and machines are interconnected and can, entirely without human assistance, process and manufacture different products. The logistics sector has blazed trails here, and for quite some time has been designing more efficient and intelligent logistics processes for goods by implementing the IoT.
Communication among the machines goes so far as to detect their own defects and damage of individual parts, and transmit the information to a control center. The center orders, again without human intervention, replacement parts, thereby relieving the burden on the slightly overloaded machine. However, removing damaged replacement parts must still be done by hand. As does installation.
At the urban level, the IoT can precisely govern power generation and distribution, as well as energy consumption and measurement, thereby optimally distributing it. But the IoT is also being linked to other areas: water conduits, parking meters and traffic-light systems are getting smarter. The traffic lights of the future, for instance, will orient themselves to the current situation in order to move traffic more fluidly on clogged roads. With total autonomy, of course. But let’s get back to the kitchens of the future, where the IoT is already a welcome visitor.
Smartphones are the new wooden spoon
The WeMo Crock Pot is furnished with Bluetooth and WiFi. They are the most important ingredients for a scrumptious meal. With the help of a smartphone, you never lose oversight of the goulash, ragout, etc. Things get even smarter with the salt shakers. They have even been linked to the renowned language assistant. She understands entire sentences like: “A teaspoon of salt, please.” The salt shaker dispenses the exact amount in a push tray.
Title picture © James Pond on Unsplash
Other pictures© Alexandru Acea on Unsplash; Lloyd Dirks on Unsplash